For my free weekend, I decided to visit my second cousin Irene, who I just met this past week. She planned out a day trip to a small little town north of Pisa called Lucca. It was a fantastic experience. When you first arrive in Lucca from the train station, your first view is of the fully intact city wall, which encompasses the entire city and around 4 kilometers in length. On top is a paved street, closed to traffic but open to bicyclists, joggers, and anyone who wants to walk. Lined on both sides of this elevated road are beautiful trees. One of the first stops that we made in Lucca was at the Palazzo P’fanner. The palazzo dates back to 1660 and currently boasts a beautiful traditional Italian garden, which we were lucky enough to visit. Walking in from the entrance, we were immediately greeted by lemon trees on our left and right. The focal point of the garden was a wonderful fountain. Also flanking each side between each lemon tree is a statue that depicts each season of the year. There were also a wide assortment of roses and even featured some vertical lines with bamboo. It was definitely one of the prettiest gardens I’ve been in.
Another prominent place we visited in Lucca was the “torre Guinigi” or Guinigi tower. The tower was built in the last half of the 14th century and is one of the only towers that remains within the city walls of Lucca. The climb up to the top was long but after a ton of steps, including some rusty iron ones, we made it to the top and were welcomed with four or five holm oaks on the top of the tower. Yes, they are planted on the top of the tower and make for a spectacular setting and a bunch of shade while you peer out on the rooftops of Lucca. It was one of the more unique things that I’ve seen since I’ve been in Italy and one of the more interesting uses of a garden that I’ve seen as well.
For me this weekend was incredible. Not only did I get to visit with my second cousin Irene, but I also got to see a unique city in Tuscany, that is kind of a hidden gem compared to some of the other places you can see in the region. I can say for a fact that I will be back again someday and re-explore such a great place.
|Palazzo P'fanner garden|
|Guinigi Tower holm oaks|